Best ingredients to make a real team


Communication is an important ingredient in collaboration.
Can you name some other ingredients or factors to achieve team building?


Awesome question @Vero. I write about this theme a bit on my blog, but am going to listen bit first before I post something from that source. I will, however, share this anecdote from class today:

My students are embarking on designing and hosting an end-of-semester event. The problem is, I have some students that are very outspoken and others who don’t speak up at all. I want to increase the chances of everyone having a voice in this event planning process so before we got to planning, we had a discussion about WHY inclusion is important and HOW to nurture it. The students (undergrads in this case) were pretty clear on WHY it’s important but were much more abstract when talking about the HOW.

Anyways, this got me to wondering about WHY and HOW you all encourage inclusiveness in your classroom. Please share your insights here.

[Wk 5 - Reflection] Playpens and Playgrounds

Is so nice to read about your work @Xanthe_Matychak, when we make a team, at home, at work, at life, we felt happy.
What is the importance of be part of?
Feel that we are part of a community, we are not alone, I am indispensable for others, as they are for me. It is not to lose individuality in the community. LCL is a real collaboration instrument

Week 6 in the LCL Community!

Hi @Vero

You wrote: “LCL is a real collaboration instrument.” I agree. Some thoughts on HOW do they do it. I would like to hear more from others

  • LCL builds a team (a movement, even) around purpose: thoughtful integration of making in edu (or something to this effect)
  • LCL targets people who are passionate about this topic
  • LCL offers discussion prompts that are directed yet open
  • LCL encourages people to share projects that they are working on (especially relevant for this group)
  • LCL mentors listen carefully to discussion threads and highlight ideas and names in our weekly unhangouts. Helping folks feel seen and heard as contributors build trust

Some robust team building structures in this LCL course, yes? What other structures do people implement to build teams?


@Xanthe_Matychak It seems I answered in the wrong place! (you put this question somewhere else, haven’t you? I’ve off the grid for some time and I fear I put my reply in the old spot… :cry: )
You said you wrote about it on your blog… Can you share the link with me/us? :slight_smile:
Thank you kindly!


Hi @JuliaS. Thanks for asking. Below are some team-themed posts from my blog. Probably some overlap in these. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what resonates as well as what might seem confusing or off



Brilliant! Thank you!
This resonated with me, especially because I went to a “leadership” workshop recently, that focused quite a lot on managing a team… :slight_smile:
The part of meaningful feedback is so important! Because, if done right, it becomes a growing tool. I remember when I was grading papers at the university, how important it was for me to highlight what the students did well and right and not just where they fell short. Otherwise, you tend to change even things that are good simply because you don’t know what works and what doesn’t work…
So thank you for the links and the posts! :slight_smile:
I am curious about the practical side of your tips in “Your Team is a System” - how do you actually do it?


Hi Julia. Thanks for the feedback You asked: I am curious about the practical side of your tips in “Your Team is a System” - how do you actually do it?

Can you elaborate on this a bit? There are 4 practical tips in the post, but if they don’t come off as practical, I should address that. Thanks!

FWIW, the post is somewhat inspired by a classic business operations book called The Goal. It’s a weird book, a bit dated, but also useful. Especially on these two things: 1. importance of using a goal as a guiding light for decision-making and 2. how to address bottlenecks.


I think, and perhaps it’s just me, that I would like a concrete example. Sort of description of a situation and how to go about it.
Perhaps you have something from your experience or the experience of your colleagues that can help me understand the steps of it?


Sure. As a first step I’m pasting the text from the blog post. I could write out an example but what might be more interesting and useful would be for you to take a stab at writing out your own situation using this framework and I can give you feedback. What do you think?

original post here


If you are designing a charter school, for example, it’s easy to get caught up in all of the features this new school might have and if your team members forget the goal, the criteria for the decision-making about these features can go off course. So remind them of the goal. The goal in the school example might be to serve students in a way that their current school isn’t doing. The goal might be to help these students be good people in the world. Remind your team of that. Once a month sounds about right. It will help guide your team’s decision- making.


To create your charter school, you’ve brought together a diverse team, not by accident, but because you value the creativity that a diverse group is capable of. But along with creativity and diversity comes tension. Embrace it. When things get hard, remind your team why that’s a good thing. Sure, it would have been easy to bring a homogenous group of people together to work toward a goal. But the results would not have the depth that your diverse team’s results will have. Remind yourself and your team that there’s a cost associated with that depth.


Even though your team is a system, you need to see each person in it in order for it to operate well. Your team members do not want to feel like pawns in a chess game. They want to be seen as individuals with unique points of view that contribute to the richness of the team. They need feedback from you on a regular basis, not just in a yearly review. If it’s criticism, make it a private conversation. But if it’s praise, make it public. And make it meaningful. “I like your work” isn’t meaningful feedback. You need to say why you like someone’s work in order to show them that you really see them…zoom in on their process: Did they work hard? Were they persistent or creative? Did they show grit and tenacity? If so, call attention to that. Giving people feedback not only on their work but on the process that they used to do that work, isn’t only meaningful, it’s useful. It teaches them that they can face any challenge, that good results aren’t a result of some kind of innate talent or kiss from the muse. Good results are the outcome of hard work and persistence.


Sometimes the system gets jammed up. Empower your team to identify and address bottlenecks when they happen. And rather than throw rocks at the bottleneck, which is often a person, slow the system down to the speed of it. Get everyone in the system moving at the same pace. Then once you do, harness your team’s creativity to figure out how to increase the capacity of the bottleneck. This can often mean taking responsibilities off of a person’s plate. If the system runs better now, then you’ve succeeded. But if you’ve created a bottleneck somewhere else, address that as well. Fine tuning a system isn’t a one and done deal. It’s an ongoing process. And if you are a systems thinker, you might even enjoy it. Iteration is a beautiful thing.


Thank you!
If it is ok for you, I’ll take a rain check on your offer… :slight_smile: Can’t seem to think about any specific example to play with (and unfortunately I have some scary deadlines looming ahead of me this week…) But I hope to come back to it at a later date and try it out! :wink:


Of course, @JuliaS. Any time.

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